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Arcadia Imperial Stout - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Imperial StoutArcadia Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

437 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 437
Reviews: 270
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 24
Gots: 29 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-09-2003

OG 1090; 59 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 437 | Reviews: 270
Photo of jrob21
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No head. The aroma is incredibly pungent like rotten plums. Taste is a little thin and all that it gives me is a big sweetness at the end. Not much else going on here. Appreciate the chance to try it though.

Photo of Ohiovania
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

2009 VIntage. Held up really well. Lots of burnt coffee and dark chocolate. Never had it fresh but was impressed by the way this one held up after 5 years. Cap had eatin up quite a bit of oxygen too.

Photo of MDDMD
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-brown black color with a decent tan head and good lacing

S-chocolate, licorice, coffee, dark malt, dark fruit

T-dark roasted malt, molasses, licorice, chocolate, little coffee

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth

O-decent imperial stout, pleasant sipping

Photo of TongoRad
2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I admit that I have a soft spot for beers that are what they say they are, pure and unadorned; I'm an Imperial Stout, dammit!. That being said, ultimately the experience has to speak for itself.

This one presents a lot of what you'd expect- bitter chocolatey mocha, dark fruits, blackstrap molasses-type flavors, licorice, warming alcohol, and plenty of bitterness to keep it all in check. Unfortunately, it comes across as being disjointed and out of whack- and the alcohol and blackstrap (which should be supporting players at best) are leading the pack. It winds up being an OK beer that should be better; but sometimes it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

Photo of Alextricity
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$4 single that I've seen at my bottle shop for quite awhile (recognized its scratched cap). The price seemed a bit high, especially considering I'm generally not TOO impressed with Arcadia's offerings, but I went for it anyway. Label says 2010 vintage, but bottled 10/24/11, so since it has quite a lot of age on it (2.5 years), I'm looking forward to it -- I haven't had many beers aged for long because I tend to drink them soon after I buy them. Strange to think that this beer was bottled before I even started drinking beer.

Appearance: Pouring aggressively as possible without splashing it all outside of my glass, I got a two finger, creamy mocha colored head that died down to half a finger pretty quickly. The beer is completely pitch black as well.

Smell: Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted malts, coffee, a fair amount of dark fruits, and also a bit of alcohol? If there is, it's really just an essence. Really smells outstanding to me, and I figure the aging has something to do with that. Maybe a little less pungent than it would smell if it were fresh though.

Taste/feel: Really quite nice and actually quite a bit different than some other Imperial Stouts I've had. First thing I noticed was a bit of a disappointing feel on this. It felt about medium bodied at first, but then somehow seemed to get a bit watery mid-sip? Very strange. The mouthfeel's a bit of a downer, considering I expected my Imperial Stouts to drink almost like a meal, but I can live with it if the beer tastes good -- and this one does. No doubt the aging added some complexity, and this one has quite a bit of it. Right off, I get dark fruity flavors first and foremost. Rest of the way, it's extremely awesomely tasty dark chocolate, roasty notes with coffee, and a slight char. The aftertaste is almost oaky? I like to liken it to a plain cake doughnut sort of flavor. It's a flavor I tend to get in BBA'd stouts, but I get it faintly in this one. I'm surprised the bottle lists this at 90 IBUs, because it's very slightly bitter... probably even less bitter or equally as bitter as a standard cup of black coffee. The thing I still can't get over is the fantastic, lingering roasty aftertaste that has the slightest bit of oaky/doughnut flavor in it... it gives the sensation that it was maybe partially aged in bourbon barrels, even though it wasn't.

This is a very, very good beer. My one knock on it is the mouthfeel, as I really wish it was a bit more beefed up. I cant argue with the rest of what's here though, this is a damn fine Imperial Stout from Arcadia. I have no idea how it tastes fresh, but it's pretty impressive with 2.5 years on it.

Photo of lochef81
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've been sitting on this one for about a year, excited to see how it goes down. The pour is a handsome black with a generous tan head that quickly gives way to a nice film and lacing. The nose is overwhelmed by vanilla and coffee. Lots of roasted malt notes as well. The aroma seems like it should be good but something is off in it. The off notes ease off as the stout sits and settles. The mouthfeel is nice and rich. Just the right body for the style. The flavor is quite sweet and malty. An abundance of coffee, caramel, and vanilla dominate. Unfortunately the chemically off note of the nose continues to rear its ugly head in the mouth. This RIS is good but not great. I'd gladly enjoy one here or there but definitely not seek it out.

Photo of lurpy1
2.46/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Acadia makes some underrated beers but this was not one of them. The finish on the taste was an unpleasant burnt chemical sensation. This of course created some related burn going down. I was able to power through the bottle, but I really mean I had to power through it. Not an easy beer to finish. Not recommended.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a nice black color with a bubbly tan head. Retention is just ok, but lacing is quite nice.

Nose is dark fruits galore with some cocoa dust and alcohol.

Taste is a nice treat, flows from fruit to chalk to licorice/chocolate malt and finishes with a leafy hop dryness. Its pretty decent, I didnt think I would like it from the smell, but it is not a bad little quaffer. Mouthfeel is thin and it has very little sweetness to buoy the richness factor. Id buy this in a sixer at a good price....not bad...not bat at all.

Photo of Jimmys
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip. 2010 vintage. Holy shit, I just noticed that on the label now. bought this bottle about a month ago. no clue it was this old. excited to see how it held up.

A: pours very dark. almost black. head is coffee hued. good retention, reasonable lacing.

S: smells sweet and fruity. almost a little soy-like, reminiscent of autolyzed yeast, but I don't think that's it.

T: a little bit of black licorice. kind of autolyzed? roast, more chocolate though. dark and rich. finish is slightly bitter, but mostly sweet.

M: moderate carb on a full body.

D: the more I drink it, the more I like it. really smooth and rich. what you want a stout of this size to do after 3 or 4 years.

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 Vintage listed on the bottle

I got a thin, mocha colored head. Body a deep brown bordering on black. Funny how imperial stouts can do that.

Smells bold and roasty. Dark fruit sits in there too. A little vanilla and alcohol on the end.

Roasty malt with dark fruit up front. This beer is subdued and smooth. A little vanilla with a coffee finish.

Smooth from start to finish.

Photo of DavoleBomb
1.56/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Black color. One finger of frothy light brown head. Retention is a touch below average and leaves no lacing.

1.5 S: This is quite disappointing. Got some major nail polish going on here. Otherwise, roasty and boozy.

1.25 T: Taste is even worse. Boozy, astringent, chemical. That's all I need to say. This sucks.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation with a light creaminess.

1.0 D: Couldn't make it through. Drain poured at least half the glass. Shame on you Arcadia.

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/24/2011. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Dense foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, molasses, light char, light smoke, toast, licorice, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Pretty nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, light smoke, molasses, toast, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Moderate amount of roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, char, light smoke, raisin, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of dark and roasted malt flavors with a light amount of fruitiness; with a solid bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full body; with a creamy, slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice imperial stout. Good balance and complexity of flavors; and smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of mdfb79
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up about three weeks ago at The Beer Shoppe in Ardmore, PA for about $3.99. 12 oz. bottle poured into my Cigar City snifter.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with two inches of dark tan head that leaves quickly and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, some cream, burnt malts, and some light dark fruits. Nose isn't too complex, but it is nice with a lot of roasted and chocolate malts to it.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, dark fruits, dark and bitter chocolate, light bitter coffe, light cream, and burnt malts. More dark fruits here and a little more bitterness than I was expecting. I think I like it slightly better than the nose.

m - Thick, full bodied stout with low to moderate carbonation. Thick and chewy, not a lot of alcohol heat, pretty nice mouthfeel.

o - Overall a very nice RIS. Nice looking and a very nice mouthfeel to it. The nose is pretty one dimensional, though it is still nice. The taste is better, with some dark fruits to it; it also gets better as it warms up. Liked the BBA version a little better, though this is definitely nice.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really black color, almost 3/4" of brown head on it. Looks professional. Lacing is kind of hodgepodge, a spot here, a spot there, lacks uniformity or coherence. Dark roasted malt aroma, we're two for two in terms of this beer being what it should be with no frills or surprises.

Taste is a little less RIS and a little more double stout, which is a good thing. Less dark fruit, less bitterness, more roastiness, more thickness, more viscosity. Pleasant, not challenging, while being plenty sturdy and demanding respect, you aren't going to pound this one, but its not a super hot sipper either.

Usual notes of coffee and chocolate malt, neither one being massive, throw a little bit of toffee flavors underneath it all. Mouthfeel is chewy without getting too thick and syrup like. Really is like almost every Arcadia brew I've ever had: Better than average, a solid 'good' but doesn't do anything 'great'. More oily than hoppy, more sweet than bitter. Thankfully smoother than most RIS beers. Would drink again.

Thanks to jh1982 for bringing this to a tailgate a year or so ago.

Photo of akronzipfan
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an imperial pint glass, the resulting 2-fingerd head was frothy but short lived. Nose is a bit like cough syrup and the first flavor notes are cocoa and smoke. Mouthfeel is decent. There's a bit of an astringent aftertaste. Overall, this is a good, not great, Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of linnymtu
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very solid imperial stout. It has a normal deep brown/black color with thin tan head. You can smell malt and coffee. The taste was dominated by coffee but some chocolate and malt. This wasn't too malty like some imperials are. The carbonation was about average and felt just right. Overall a quality brew.

Photo of Brewster40
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage served into a Horney Devil snifter

A - Dark, with a thin light brown layer of foam. Translucent at the edges.

S - Smell is sweet, molasses, dark chocolate, licorice(?)...

T - Not nearly as sweet as the smell. Still, molasses, bitter chocolate, some coffee. Aftertaste lingers and is bitter on the back and sides of the tongue.

M - Medium bodied. Not sure if I have a coating on the tongue or if the aftertaste is overwhelming the feel.

O - Frankly, not my favorite. The bitter aftertaste is distracting, not pleasant. I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, it is just not working for me.

Photo of sweemzander
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color. Some tan froth formed.

(S)- A deep aroma of roasted nuts, coffee grounds, and cocoa. Dense and rich but dynamic.

(T)- Similar to the smell in alot of ways. It has a very dense roasted coffee and a rich cocoa/molasses background. Finishes quite citrus-like with bitterness.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. This gets quite bitter as it warms. Still rich and dense. Very surprised with two years of age on this how up front the bitter hops still are.

(O)- This could easily go for several more years to help smooth out some of its rough edges. Nonetheless, it is still a solid example of the style, it just is not quite what I like to see in my stouts. This must have been massively hoppy when fresh.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid the price to try this one $3.50 for a single. Looks like it was bottled January 2012

A - Immensely dark with no light to escape. Head is minimal with only a slight ring of tan colored lace. Looks sticky.

S - Mild ashy roast, bittersweet chocolates, sugary yeasts, and some molasses.

T - Kind of reminds me of an imperial porter. You got your sweet chocolate, then your roast kicks in, but the finish is a touch chalky and bitter. It's easy enough to drink with no notable ABV but again it taste like a porter.

M - Medium to heavy in body. Not as thick as the typical style but easy enough to put away.

Overall it's quite strange but the imperial porter (which I love) taste more stout like and this imperial stout taste more like a porter. Boy do these guys make for some confusing beers!

Photo of bnes09
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pure black and opaque. Small, tan colored head forms with some descent lacing for the style.

Burnt molasses and maple prominent in the aroma. Also some licorice and cocoa. Dark aroma overall.

Sturdy malt backbone with burnt toast, coffee, baker's chocolate, charcoal, licorice and grits. Certainly a lot to take in at one time. Hops are there but somewhat subdued, herbs and pine needles. Flavor is sweet overall with a molasses and maple character.

Full bodied but not syrupy. Weak carbonation fails to impress. Good malt texture throughout.

A solid example of a Russian imperial. This is a 2007 bottle so its nice to see that this beer ages very well. I am interested to try a fresh bottle to see what the bitterness and especially the hop flavors have to offer before the beer ages.

Photo of MrBluto
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I liked this stout. It pours black, and has a creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. The aroma is malty with smells of cocoa, chocolate, and as one reviewer stated, soy. It starts somewhat sweet and finishes light with a touch of bitterness. However, it lays flat on the tongue afterwards, and it has virtually no head (though what head is there is a very nice medium brown). No lacing.

I would like to try this on tap, particularly at the brewery. I have a feeling it is much nicer when fresh and at the proper temperature (my fridge is a bit tto cold for stouts).

Photo of srv33
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review is for a 2007 bottle reviewed in 2012.

Near black pour, strong herbal scent, with a hint of chocolate and soy. Little to no head. Quite strong and bitter kick on the palate, though it fades quickly. Almost no carbonation, as expected for a bottle of this vintage. Tastes much the same as the smell, rich herbal taste with a bit of licorice and soy.

Photo of gustogasmic
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage from the cooler at a wine bar/ bottle shop.

Black with red-caramel edges and a 1/2" caramel-latte head that disappears quickly. Great sticky lacing.

Smells... hoppy. What in the heck? Big sweet malt backbone with roast in the background.

The taste is wild; not at all following the nose. An intriguing oily hop/ licorice nose that pulls into a big malty, milk-chocolatey body. Unfortunately, the bitterness of the initial drink sticks on the roof of the mouth as an almost acidic awkward and distracting after-taste. I wonder if that element is there in fresh bottles.

The mouthfeel is relatively thin for the style, but the sharp roastiness has a complex linger.

Gotta try a fresh one- or maybe this one was messed up in storage.

Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage I found at a store in Toledo--no idea how it was stored.

A: Pours black with two fingers of dark tan head that recedes into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with molasses, sweet floral notes, and dark chocolate dominating. There are some slight oxidized notes in the nose.

T: Similar to the aroma, molasses and dark chocolate dominate with some bitter char notes as well. There are slight oxidization notes here as well, but not too much.

M: Thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is pretty smooth and creamy.

O: A pretty decent stout, overall. I've not had it fresh, but this bottle seems to have held up pretty well.

Photo of ksimons
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours an oily black with almost no head to speak of, just a tiny ring around the top of the glass

S-roasted malt, coffee, molasses, some bittersweet chocolate, and a touch of smoke.

T-similar to the smell. Roasted malt, light burnt coffee, molasses, and a bit of sourness that makes it seem a bit thin.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation, wish the carbonation level was a bit higher. Slight dry finish.

Overall not the best RIS I have had. Seems to be lacking in body and roastedness.

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Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.